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My personal meditations in the Word each morning and each evening are rich and full but this sent me reeling as I contemplated the ramifications of what the Spirit was saying to me and to every pastor, minister, and Sunday School teacher in America. Ours is a harsher judgment (James 3:1).
What will you do with what the Spirit is saying? Let the wise read and take action…
Hosea 4:1-4 HCSB
Hear the word of the Lord, people of Israel, for the Lord has a case against the inhabitants of the land:
There is no truth, no faithful love, and no knowledge of God in the land!
Cursing, lying, murder, stealing, and adultery are rampant; one act of bloodshed follows another.
For this reason the land mourns, and everyone who lives in it languishes, along with the wild animals and the birds of the sky; even the fish of the sea disappear.
But let no one dispute; let no one argue, for My case is against you priests.
My Lord and my God! This sounds like America! And what can I say? Am I righteous? Am I without sin? Am I not accountable? This is my nation and these are my people and I am a servant of God in their midst. Do I convict people of sin? Am I a shining light or a dim bulb?
The Lord’s case is against the called, anointed and appointed. We who are ministers are held accountable when the sins of a city or nation multiply because we have failed to raise the standard. It is those of us whose business is God’s business who must give an account to God for the sins of our city and our nation.
The case against the ministers of God follows the text:
- “They have abandoned their devotion to the Lord” (Hosea 4:10).
- “…a spirit of promiscuity is among them” (Hosea 5:4).
- “…they go to seek the Lord but do not find Him; He has withdrawn from them” (Hosea 5:6-7).
- “They betrayed the Lord…” (Hosea 5:6-7).
Am I blameless? Have I fully sanctified myself? Haven’t I had a spirit of promiscuity around me and did not fight against it?
The Lord has not withdrawn from me; He has never left or forsaken me and I have sought always to be loyal to the Lord but have I raised the standard? Have I not also failed and will I not be brought to account for the sins of those in my city?
Do those who don’t know God know how to seek Him? Is it not for those of us who claim to love Him and labor for Him to seek God on behalf of our people?
As for me, if I am held accountable for the sins of my city and of my nation, then I must…
Be Zealous and Repent
To the Church at Laodicea—the lukewarm church Jesus said, “Be zealous and repent…” (Revelation 3:19). I will not make the mistake of shrugging my shoulders, saying “Oh well, forgive me Lord” and moving on as though God has not said anything. This is serious and I fear God. He does not speak empty words.
I must get radical. I must do something that sets apart my before and after. I must be changed.
God is not the problem; the World is not the problem; a spirit of wickedness in the World is not the problem; the Church is not the problem; carnal Christians are not the problem; other ministers are not the problem; I am the problem and I am responsible and accountable according to God.
Didn’t the prayers of Elijah change Israel? Didn’t John Knox change Scotland? Didn’t Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield change the Colonies? Didn’t Charles Finney bring an Awakening to America?
My level of influence is a reflection of my level of perseverance in God. Elijah turned his nation back to God on the power of prayer. He had no followers. He had no congregation. He just showed up one day declaring “There will be no dew or rain during the next few years until I give the word!”
I am the problem. “Those who know their God shall be strong and do exploits” (Daniel 11:32).
To focus on the problem, I must fast. It is far too easy to neglect spiritual things and the rumble in my stomach is a perfect reminder that I am hungry for God. He is the bread of heaven and is the only one who can satisfy my soul. In this way, I will turn my hunger loose to pursue God. The promise of God is true and faithful: “Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6).
I do not know how long this may take, so I set myself apart for fasting indefinitely with a limited fast as Daniel did (Daniel 10). I will confess my sins and the sins of my nation and seek God’s mercy as Daniel did (Daniel 9:1-19).
I will be using Charles Finney’s list from “How to Promote a Revival” to examine myself—that I may experience personal revival. Let it begin with me.
My petition—fruitfulness. Can I ask for my nation? Can I even ask for my community? I must first and foremost seek what He desires. Our Father is wholly focused on our fruitfulness and reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ, therefore I will also focus more fully on this and seek whatever He desires. I want to see fruitfulness in my ministry. I want to see lives changed and transformed by encounters with the Almighty. I have not yet seen this kind of fruitfulness in my life or ministry. I have had some fruit—but not as I would desire.
I want an abundant harvest so that I can enter eternity with joy and not regret.
This is the time to pray and seek God’s face. We are in desperate straits as a nation and this is God’s mercy and a great blessing if we will seek Him (Finney).
Seek His Face
I need to see Him. Only when I see Him can I be like Him (1 John 3:2) and become mature in my faith. I need to see what He is doing and hear what He is saying that I may do and say as He does. I need to be transformed within and transfigured without.
He has said, “Draw near to me and I will draw near to you;” and “Ask, Seek, Knock…” Surely God is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).
I will spend extra time seeking the Lord in praise, worship and prayer each day. I will make my life an offering and my body a living sacrifice.
Turn from my wicked ways
Transformation requires change. I have ways that do not measure up to who God is. He is the Standard. I must do things God’s way and cease from my own ways. Only when I see Him will I know what needs to be changed.
His Word is my mirror. Morning and evening I will examine myself in the Light of His Word (Joshua 1:8).
I will do what I see my Father in heaven doing. I will say what I hear my Father saying. I will imitate Christ and do the works of Jesus.
Lord God, Father, I am Your servant. I give my life to You—not in theory but in truth. I know You know my weaknesses and my many failings.
I put my trust in You. I believe what You have said in Your Word that if I seek You, I will find You. I choose today to search for You with all of my heart.
In the coming days, there will be many opportunities for me to stop seeking Your face. I ask for Your mercy and grace. I ask that You strengthen me to seek Your face. I ask that Your Holy Spirit lead me, guide me, teach me, and draw me as He reveals to me who You are.
Our sins are separating us from You. Wash us and we will be clean. Cleanse us by water and fire. Prune us that we may bear much fruit and show ourselves to be disciples of Christ.
In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.